By Johnny Askounis/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Fewer question marks are attached to the training camp of Canada heading to the 2023 FIBA World Cup compared to previous international tournaments.
Out of the 18 players called up, 17 were active at the start of the training camp. The lone exception, Kevin Pangos was in Toronto but did not participate in practice. The explosive point guard will instead join as a delayed entry with extra rest after just arriving from Europe, following the conclusion of the 2022-23 campaign at the club level with EA7 Emporio Armani Milan.
Head coach Jordi Fernandez and assistants saw the remaining players, Kyle Alexander, Nickeil Alexander-Walker, RJ Barrett, Trae Bell-Haynes, Oshae Brissett, Dillon Brooks, LuGuentz Dort, Zach Edey, Melvin Ejim, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Cory Joseph, Jamal Murray, Kelly Olynyk, Dwight Powell, Kassius Robertson, Phil Scrubb, and Thomas Scrubb getting started and aiming to represent Canada in Asia. Everybody is committed to playing for Canada since last summer, a variation to previous camps.
Path to the FIBA World Cup
Eventually switching from training sessions to preparation games, Canada will travel to Germany next week. The schedule of friendly games opens against Germany in Berlin Wednesday. Landing in Hamburg for Basketball SuperCup opposite Germany, New Zealand, and China is on 12-13 August. On to Spain, Canada is part of a tournament in Granada on 17-18 August.
Coming off winning the NBA championship with the Denver Nuggets, Murray will be monitored by the medical staff and is likely for additional rest through tuneup games. However, he is expected to make the cut for the final roster and compete in the World Cup.
In Group H of the preliminary round, Canada will face France, Lebanon, and Latvia in Jakarta from 25 to 29 August. The top two teams will enter Group L and from there look to advance to the Quarterfinals, but the bottom two will be reduced to classification games for spots between 17th and 32nd.
Photo Credit: FIBA.BASKETBALL